About Us

“Without stones there is no arch”  -Marco Polo

Dion Khodagholy, PhD

Assistant Professor

Dion Khodagholy is an assistant professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering at Columbia University in New York City.  
He received his Master’s degree from the University of Birmingham (UK) in Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering. This was followed by a second Master’s degree in Microelectronics at the Ecole des Mines. He attained his PhD in Microelectronics at the Department of Bioelectronics (BEL) of the Ecole des Mines (France). His postdoctoral research at New York University, Langone Medical Center was focused on large-scale cortical acquisition and analysis.


His research explores the interface of electronics and the brain in the context of both applied and discovery sciences, with the ultimate goal of new innovations in device engineering and neuroscience methods to improve diagnosis and treatment of neuropsychiatric disease.

Zifang (Frank) Zhao, PhD

Post-Doctoral Fellow

Email: zz2636(at)columbia(dot)edu

Zifang Zhao is a post-doctoral fellow in the lab. He received his B.Sc. in Basic medical science and Electrical Engineering from Peking University (China). After graduation, he joined Dr. Wan group at Neuroscience Research Institute of Peking University for the PhD in neuroscience. During his PhD, he joined Dr. Buzsaki's lab in New York University as a visiting student.

His current research focuses on the development and application of high-density miniaturized neural interface in studying large-scale neural dynamics.

Claudia Cea

PhD Candidate

Email: cc4387(at)columbia(dot)edu

Claudia Cea is a PhD student in the Department of Electrical Engineering at Columbia University. She comes from Italy, where she completed her Bachelors of Science in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Pisa. She pursued her Masters of Science degree in Bioengineering in San Diego, focusing her research on the development of novel origami-based neural probes for epidural and intradural recording, as well as, neurotransmitter detection. Her current work at Translational Neuroelectronic Lab focuses on the development of fast and sensitive soft bioelectronics devices that interact with signals generated by the neural tissue.

Prawesh Dahal

PhD Candidate

Email: prawesh(dot)dahal(at)columbia(dot)edu

Prawesh Dahal is a PhD student in the Department of Electrical Engineering. He received his B.S. in Engineering and Physics from Trinity College, CT.  In his undergraduate research, Prawesh was involved in the nonlinear and chaotic analysis of hippocampal REM sleep EEG. His current interest lies in the development of neural interface devices to better understand the human brain. In his free time, Prawesh enjoys doing art, especially drawing pen and ink architectural sketches. He is also very passionate about cooking and learning new languages.

Han Yu

Graduate Student

Email: hy2562(at)columbia(dot)edu

Han Yu is a graduate student at Columbia University. She is now pursuing her PhD degree in Electrical Engineering. She received B.S. in Physics from Fudan University and M.S. in EE from Columbia University. Since she joined Translational NeuroElectronics Lab, she has been working on a couple of projects - both on electrophysiological analysis and device design for clinical use. Her current work involves studying the emergence of neural network in neonatal rodents. Han is excited about the field of neuroscience and its ability to apply all kinds of cutting-edge technologies to obtain better understanding of brain.

Liang is a graduate student working towards a PhD in Biomedical Engineering. He comes from Shenzhen, China. In 2018, Liang received his Bachelor of Science in Electrical & Electronics Engineering from Tel Aviv University, Israel. For his undergraduate project, Liang joined Prof. Yosi Shacham-Diamand’s group as an researcher to perform EIS and Van der Pauw measurements on SAM-enhanced semiconductor devices. At Neuroelectronics Lab, Liang investigates brain states of neonatal rodents using neural electrophysiology, and build electronics for clinical use. Liang hopes to continue research at the intersection of Electrical Engineering and Neuroscience.

Liang Ma

Graduate Student

Email: lm3397(at)columbia(dot)edu

Richard Yao

Graduate Student

Richard Yao is pursuing an M.S. in Electrical Engineering at Columbia University. He received his B.A.Sc in Engineering Physics at the University of British Columbia. The focus of his undergraduate research was on hydrogels. Richard's current research involves developing materials for neural interfaces. In his free time Richard enjoys ventriloquism.

Mara Kaspers

Graduate Student

Mara is a graduate student pursuing her Master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Neuroscience from Kenyon College. Her research at Kenyon focused on identifying visual properties essential to human face perception using behavioral and electrophysiological paradigms. Her research at the Ohio State University was epidemiological in nature and investigated racial health disparities in endometrial cancer treatment. Mara’s current research interests lie in the development of biocompatible and affordable neural interfaces for long term treatment of neurological disorders and trauma. 

Onni Rauhala

Research Associate

Email: ojr2107(at)columbia(dot)edu

Onni Rauhala is a staff research associate and a graduate from the College of Biological Sciences at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities where he got his B.Sc. in neuroscience with a minor in anthropology. His past research experience includes behavioral studies in rodents utilizing optogenetics and electrophysiological methods. Currently, Onni’s research interests lie in rodent electrophysiology and behavior in the context of memory, sleep, and navigation.

Richard Thompson Lee

Undergraduate Student

Richard Lee is an undergraduate at Columbia pursuing a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and a minor in Applied Physics. His previous research experiences delved into bioinformatics and computational fluid dynamics, and currently, he plans to use machine learning to investigate electrophysiological signals related to epilepsy. Aside from research, Richard is passionate for music production and digital design.

Lab alumni

Jeremy Savarin

Shilpika Chowdhury (Senior Process Engineer, Boston Scientific)

Patricia Jastrzebska-Perfect (Graduate Student, MIT)

George D. Spyropoulos (Assistant Professor, Ghent University)